Welcome to Our WirelessAdvisor Community!

You are viewing our forums as a GUEST. Please join us so you can post and view all the pictures.
Registration is easy, fast and FREE!

Using a T-Mobile Phone in Europe with Cheaper Rates? Is it Possible?

Discussion in 'T-Mobile Forum' started by Gamer03, Nov 30, 2004.

  1. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    If I bought a T-Mobile phone, such as the Motorola V180 from Motorola without a T-Mobile contract, would I be able to use in the U.S. and in Europe (France)?

    If so, could I buy a prepaid SIM card in France so the rates would be
    cheaper?

    I know the phone is a tri-band (GSM 900/1800/1900).

    The V180 on Motorola's site says it is $139. Is that with or without a T-Mobile contract?

    Do I need to buy the phone unlocked? Or does it come unlocked from Motorola (to work in other countries)?

    Finally, does anyone know any good websites or companies that sell tri or quad-band phones with/without contracts at a good price that isn't too expensive?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile
    If you buy it directly from Motorola without agreeing to purchase a plan from any carrier, the phone should be unlocked(but please make sure).
    Also, yes, the phone has to be unlocked in order to use it with other SIM Cards; a good place to shop is probably Ebay. Just make sure the phone is unlocked.
    Hope this helps a bit,
    Andy
    P.S. First Alaska, now France ??? LOL ;)
     
  3. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    :lol: Sorry for asking a lot of questions in other forums. :( But I like to learn things. :D

    Thanks for the reply Andy.

    My dad might go to France next year with one of his friends to find and collect artifacts for a private agency since his friend offered my dad to come along.

    Are Motorola phones any good? I will have to post a question about the Motorola V180 in the Motorola forum.

    Thanks again.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile
    Hey, I didn't mean it in a bad way ;) You know that :)
    I still have one Moto Tri-Mode Timeport phone, and used to have two of them while we lived in Germany. The phones do the basics, have no reals 'extras', but IMO they do what they do quite well. Only problem I have with my Timeport is the battery won't last long.
    For a casual user of the phone you should be fine...I rarely use the phone myself since I don't have any U.S. GSM service, only three European ones that I use when over there.
     
  5. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    I know. I was joking. ;) :D

    That is all my dad would need it for.

    I will have to e-mail Motorola and ask them if it is unlocked....hopefully it is.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    3,236
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    OC (USA) / 77 (FR)
    My Phone:
    LG VX5600
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon(US) Orange(FR)
    You may be able to buy it unlocked from Cingular, as well -- their world phones are usually unlocked.

    When your dad is in France, he can then get a prepaid SIM at any shopping mall, music store, or newspaper kiosk in Paris, and in thousands of places out in the boonies. I have never used Bouygues, but SFR and Orange have excellent coverage (the major cities are 100% covered, indoor and out). Expect rates to be much more expensive than in the US -- I believe Orange and SFR prepaid is €0,45 (about $0.55) per minute. Some prepaid plans have lower rates (€0,25) for nights and weekends, etc. SFR, last time I went, charged €0,75/min. for calls from France (both l'Hexagone and les DOM/TOM) to the US and Canada.

    As with all mobile phones in Europe, it's calling-party-pays, so incoming calls are free of charge.

    On SFR (the one I used a few months ago), you can recharge three ways:

    1. Buy a top-up card at any store that sells them, then either call 952 and type in the 10-digit card number, or text the 10-digit card number to 952.

    2. Call 952 and enter your credit card number (worked with my corporate Visa and my personal Visa debit, but not with my personal Mastercard, for whatever reason).

    3. Go to a Crédit Lyonnais ATM, use your debit card, put in your cell number (06 xx xx xx xx) and pay automatically.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    6,529
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    94065,US/Köln, Germany
    My Phone:
    HTC/T-Mobile MDA II PPC
    Wireless Provider(s):
    E-Plus (BASE 12 month flatrate)/Vodafone Germany
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  8. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile
    To add to Zaphod's comments, Boygues is also great in urban areas and on most roads in between. Going out into the real boonies you will loose their service, but they have done a great job expanding within the last years. If you are mainly in urban areas and/or inbetween on major routes, choose the cheapest carrier, even Boygues should work very well for you.
     
  9. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Thanks for the informative post Zaphod.

    I appreciate it.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  10. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Thanks for the website ShoresGuy.

    I appreciate it.

    It is very informative. :D ;)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Thanks Andy for the information.

    In your opinion, which carrier would work in small towns and/or villages that aren't densely populated?

    What are you considering the "real boonies"?

    Thanks.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Since it works this way in Europe, how come on Orange's website it says the following:

    International Roaming

    To same country € 1.00 € 1.00 € 1.00
    To France € 1.00 € 1.50 € 2.40
    Incoming Calls € 0.65 (Zone 1) € 0.75 (Zone 2) € 1.50 (Zone 3)
    SMS sending € 0.30 € 0.30 € 0.30
    MMS sending/receiving € 0.80 € 0.80 € 0.80

    How come the website doesn't same free for incoming calls?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile
    If you are international roaming, you will pay a per minute rate even for incoming calls(you basically carry the charges from France to wherever you are), just like if you take a U.S. GSM phone overseas.
    Hope this clears things up.
    Andy
     
  14. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile

    Gamer, both SFR-Vodafone, and Orange(formerly France Telecom/Itineris) have good coverage in the 'boonies'. I have not used Orange, other while roaming with one of my other European SIM Cards, but I used to have a SFR SIM a long time ago, and I would also prefer my phone(with other European SIM Cards) to roam on SFR-Vodafone. Just on side note, when International travelers register on SFR's network they at least used to get a welcome SMS also informing them that SFR had the best/largest wireless network in France.

    With boonies I mean little towns that are away from highways and urban areas. A lot of times while driving through France, I would just go off the freeway and drive through the countryside to enjoy my trip more(of course it would take me a LOT longer, but it was worth it!!!). There was one spot where I always used to get off the Freeway and go by normal streets through the French Alps, because of the scenery. I can't remember where exactly or anything, but I remember the last time I drove through there(VERY late at night, since I left northern Spain around 5 p.m.) before I moved to the U.S., even Boygues covered those windy, hilly, and rural roads(which only SFR covered the time before I went through there). They've been building out their network in the boonies as well.

    Hope this helps; this brings up old rememberings! :) I could go on forever, lol.
    Andy
     
  15. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Thanks Andy for the reply.

    So if my dad bought a prepaid SIM card in France after he got there, then if we called him from Florida, his call would be free, or would he be paying an international roaming charge? I assume the call would be free for him (no airtime charges or international roaming charges or any other charges), but we would be charged for the call? Am I correct in saying this?

    Thanks again.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile
    Yes, Gamer, you are understanding correctly. As long as your Dad is in France with his French SIM Card he will NEVER pay roaming/airtime charges for incoming calls, wherever they are from.
    BTW, if you need some advice/recommendations on cheap calling to Europe and European cellphones let me know. I've tried lots of calling cards and stuck with one kind for over three years now.
     
  17. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Ok Andy.

    Thanks I appreciate it.

    Like I said, it would not be until next year.

    Thanks again for all your help.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    3,236
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    OC (USA) / 77 (FR)
    My Phone:
    LG VX5600
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon(US) Orange(FR)
    Based on the Andy's statement of Bouygues Télécom's coverage, I would strongly suggest he get SFR or Orange. France is a bit peculiar in that some of the best tourist attractions, and some of the most incredible food in the world, are way the :censored: out in the boonies -- in fact, my favourite restaurant in France is in a tiny hamlet of 117 people called Buoux.

    Whether your dad gets charged for incoming calls on his French SIM is easy: if he is in France, no charge (no matter where the call originates from). If he is outside of France, he pays depending on what country he's in. The only caveat here is to be aware of his handset display if he's on the borders -- other countries blast signal into France.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    Ok. I will tell my dad.

    Thanks Zaphod for the informative explanation.

    I appreciate it.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile

    Happens in every border area in Europe...I wouldn't think that, say, a German provider would 'blast' a signal into France. Wouldn't you think they wouldn't want their signal to spill over so that people who cross into bordertowns would be roaming(revenue)? On the other hand, people that live in border towns and often travel across the border into other border towns, would probably choose a carrier that would 'blast' a signal into the neighboring city.
    something a little off topic :) Near Lake Geneva, I was always able to get all 3 French networks, plus all 3 Swiss networks(and that for a long time if I'd be going by airplane). Near Lake Constance on the Germany/Austria/Swiss border region you are able to get all 4 German networks(Vodafone, T-Mobile, E-Plus, O2), all 3 Swiss networks(Swisscom-vodafone, Orange, and Sunrise), and all 4 Austrian providers(Vodafone, T-Mobile...forgot the names of the other two)...was quite interesting!!!
     
  21. Gamer03

    Gamer03 Technology Aficionado
    Super Moderator Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Messages:
    9,065
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    74
    Likes Received:
    249
    Location:
    The Florida Everglades
    My Phone:
    Motorola X Pure
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon Wireless
    That is pretty interesting. :D

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. ;)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  22. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    6,529
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    94065,US/Köln, Germany
    My Phone:
    HTC/T-Mobile MDA II PPC
    Wireless Provider(s):
    E-Plus (BASE 12 month flatrate)/Vodafone Germany
    The other 2 are Tele.ring and ONE. Which one is Vodafone? I think it's Mobilkom Austria since the D2 brochures list them as the new Vodafone Partner Network.

    Actually, I'll add a nice experience too. I have a friend who lives on the eastern most fringe of Italy in a city called Trieste. Trieste is very close to both Slovenia and Croatia so whenever my friend is at home or when I visit him, both of our phones jump from Vodafone Omnitel to one of the Slovenian or Croatian towers located 10-15 miles away. So depending on the room of the house you're in, you'll end up on any given network

    Imagine the flood of complaints and monthly charge disputes people in that area must give the customer service reps at TIM, Vodafone and WIND hehe.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  23. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile
    Ah, thanks, Shoresguy...One and Telering. Austria has confused me before as well, but I believe that A1 is the Vodafone network there.
    Also, my grandmother lives in Lugano and has an appartment on the top floor in a complex right at the lake, and whenever I'm up there, I can register on Vodafone-Omnitel and Wind, the Italian providers. But they will come in and out from one minute to the other, since mountains and the lake are sepearating my view to Italy.

    ~Andy
     
  24. AnthroMatt

    AnthroMatt Big Meanie
    Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2002
    Messages:
    9,256
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    2
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    My Phone:
    Apple iPhone 13 Pro
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon, AT&T Prepaid
    I noticed the same just here in Niagara Falls. When I was on the Canadian side I got a stronger T-Mobile signal than I did on the U.S. side. Likewise, I got better Fido signal on the American side than I did while in Canada. There were places on the US side that my phone would actually switch over to Fido, yet on the Canadian side I got T-Mobile service for what had to be at least a mile from the border.
     
  25. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    6,529
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    94065,US/Köln, Germany
    My Phone:
    HTC/T-Mobile MDA II PPC
    Wireless Provider(s):
    E-Plus (BASE 12 month flatrate)/Vodafone Germany
    At least you have a signal and it's not too far to go and visit Italy in person :D, I haven't been down in that area yet but I would imagine that the providers on both sides of the lake have reliable coverage without being too affected by the terrain.

    If you want to discuss Italy in depth, look at prepaidgsm.net's forums since the site admins are from Italy. Do you speak Italian?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  26. ZaphodB

    ZaphodB Signal Go Down De Hole...
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    3,236
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    OC (USA) / 77 (FR)
    My Phone:
    LG VX5600
    Wireless Provider(s):
    Verizon(US) Orange(FR)
    I didn't have a mobile phone when I lived in Versoix, but it was so close to France that I'm sure it would have picked up the French networks had I had one.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  27. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile

    Interesting how you got a stronger signal when across the border.
    In Europe, signals usually last much longer than one mile across boarder regions, especially when there are lakes as borders :D
     
  28. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile

    Oh yes, coverage is rock solid. On my numerous travels through Switzerland(I've been throughout Switzerland this past summer again), my Swisscom SIM worked in places other carriers faded in and out, so IMO Swisscom is the best provider coverage wise in CH, if anyone is interested. :) Only places even my Swisscom faded in and out were some of the long train tunnels. Lol, I could just keep going and going!
    I don't speak Italian; my Mom does and she tried to teach it to me as a child, but apparently I'd always start crying when she spoke Italian to me so she gave up :( Thanks for your suggestion about the other forum!
     
  29. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2003
    Messages:
    10,281
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    130
    Likes Received:
    7
    My Phone:
    HTC Thunderbolt
    Wireless Provider(s):
    VZW, Vodafone D2, Solomo, Swisscom Mobile
    Off-Topic, but how long did you live there? That's interesting! How did you like it?
     
  30. ShoresGuy

    ShoresGuy Euer WA Experte in Europa
    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    6,529
    Cell Tower Picture Gallery:
    419
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    94065,US/Köln, Germany
    My Phone:
    HTC/T-Mobile MDA II PPC
    Wireless Provider(s):
    E-Plus (BASE 12 month flatrate)/Vodafone Germany
    I was in Switzerland a couple years (Geneva) I think I roamed on sunrise or Swisscom back then. Looks like they have a new network coming called In & Phone SA which will be an 1800-only network:

    http://www.gsmworld.com/roaming/gsminfo/net_chin.shtml
    http://www.inphone.ch
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page

Copyright 1997-2022 Wireless Advisor™, LLC. All rights reserved. All registered and unregistered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.
WirelessAdvisor.com is not associated by ownership or membership with any cellular, PCS or wireless service provider companies and is not meant to be an endorsement of any company or service. Some links on these pages may be paid advertising or paid affiliate programs.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice